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After Your Wedding

Oakwood Cleaners Provides Greener and Natural Wedding Dress Dry Cleaning

Monday, June 27, 2016

When I found out Oakwood Cleaners was a certified Greener Cleaner, I wanted to learn more! I'm all about choosing products and services that are healthy and better for the environment. And if you're a green-focused bride, Oakwood is the very best option in Nashville to clean your wedding dress. Plus, you can bring your groom's suit in for a fresh and natural clean at the same time! I rounded up a few questions from Rhonda about greener dry cleaning, so take a look below!

What made you decide to open up a greener dry cleaning company in Nashville?

Rhonda: We became owners of Oakwood Cleaners In April of 2011. My husband and I were intrigued by the dry cleaning business and when we found out Oakwood Cleaners was available we jumped at the chance. It is quite an honor to own such a wonderful business. We are definitely a niche for Nashville being a 5 Star Couture Cleaner, a Greener Cleaner and member of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists.

What does it mean to be a certified "Greener Cleaner"?

Rhonda: Ever wonder why the clothes you bring home from conventional dry cleaners have a strangely sweet odor? That’s the smell of petrochemical residue. Most people find it distasteful, but some people who suffer from asthma or odor sensitivities find it can make them sick. Clothes dry cleaned with GreenEarth have absolutely no odor. Your clothes are fresh and clean right out of the bag, so there’s no need to let them "air out” (though you should take them out of the bag before hanging them in your closet—if humidity gets trapped inside the bag it is not good for clothes).

Skin friendly. GreenEarth solution is so safe you could rub it on your skin. In fact, you probably already do. That’s because GreenEarth solution is pure liquid silicone, the same base ingredient found in everyday shampoos, conditioners, skin lotions and antiperspirants.
Allergies or sensitive skin? No worries. GreenEarth is non-allergenic and non-irritating. Best of all, it leaves fabrics silky smooth, with no static. Wools aren’t itchy. Sweaters feel soft. Fabrics drape nicely again. Clothes just feel good.

Store friendly. People who work in or live near dry cleaning stores often worry about the dangers of exposure to perc (short for perchloroethylene, the petrochemical used by most cleaners), with good reason. According to the EPA, over-exposure to perc can lead to headaches, dizziness, skin and eye irritation and other health effects, including an increased risk of cancer. Seniors, young children and pregnant women are especially vulnerable. People who work in or live near a GreenEarth dry cleaning store have absolutely nothing to worry about. GreenEarth is safe to work with, safe to dispose of and safe to breathe. Employees especially love working in an odorless store!

Garment Care Video from GreenEarth Cleaning on Vimeo.

What ingredients are in the GreenEarth dry-cleaning product?

Rhonda: GreenEarth is a greener dry cleaning process that is completely safe. It has no hazardous chemicals. No perchloroethylene. No petroleum. So there’s no risk to the air, water or soil. GreenEarth cleans with pure liquid silicone. In essence, liquefied sand. The same natural sand the earth has been creating for over six billion years. GreenEarth's silicone is clear, odorless and gentle. In the environment, it simply returns to its three natural elements: sand (SiO2) and trace amounts of water and CO2. It's a clean you can feel good about.

Describe the process of greener dry cleaning.

Rhonda: Dry cleaning is not dry! It is a liquid solvent that does not use water. In our case it is GreenEarth, liquified silicone. It goes in a machine similar to a washing machine. The machine has several different settings depending on what is getting cleaned and after it is cleaned in the green earth it is then dried in the same machine! There are times though that our production manager is manually control the cleaning process and the drying time.

How is a greener dry clean different from a regular dry clean?

Rhonda: Petroleum-free. Regulation-free. GreenEarth is so safe, the EPA doesn’t regulate it. Neither does OSHA, RCRA or CERCLA. In contrast, the petroleum-based solvents most dry cleaners use are heavily regulated. That’s because they can be extremely hazardous to the earth and people when they aren’t handled properly. 

Most dry cleaners (about 80%) use a synthetic chlorinated hydrocarbon solvent known as perc (perchloroethylene). It has been classified by the EPA as a toxic air contaminant, a hazardous, likely carcinogenic substance and one of the top four contaminants found in drinking water. It can enter your body when you inhale its vapors or touch it. Perc can irritate your skin, eyes, nose or throat, and affects your brain much like alcohol does (e.g. dizziness, headache, nausea, loss of balance or coordination, etc.). California has recently banned the use of perc; other states have proposed similar legislation.

Beware of "green washing"! The second most common type of solvent used in dry cleaning is hydrocarbon, also petroleum-based. Hydrocarbon is sometimes marketed as "organic”. Beware! There is nothing "green" about organic dry cleaning methods. Scientifically speaking, anything with a chain of carbon can be accurately labeled organic, but that doesn’t mean it's environmentally friendly or chemical-free. Gasoline is organic, but you wouldn’t want to wash clothes with it.

Breathe easy. Hydrocarbon solvents are classified as volatile air contaminants (VOCs), meaning they can vaporize into the atmosphere and contribute to smog and global warming. But GreenEarth is not classified as a VOC by the U.S. EPA. It’s good for the clothes you wear and for the air you breathe.

Can any garment be green dry cleaned  or are there restrictions?

Rhonda: Most garments can be cleaned in our GreenEarth Cleaning agent. There are, however, some items that say do not dry clean. Those have to be dealt with differently.

How is green dry cleaning appealing to brides?

Rhonda: Brides can be rest assured that their gowns that call for dry cleaning will be cleaned in the most gentle cleaning solvents on the market. Green Earth is actually good for fabric and has no odor.


I don't know about you, but I just learned so much about greener dry cleaning! And wow - I never knew the dangers of a regular dry cleaning. Sticking with GreenEarth is the way to go!

You can visit Oakwood Cleaners in 3 different locations - Nashville, Cool Springs and Hermitage.

Visit Oakwood Cleaners' website here to find out more about their GreenEarth services.

Posted by Alyssa | Filed under: Alterations, Gown Preservation, Eco-Friendly Weddings, After Your Wedding, 0 comments »

Plan your Summer Honeymoon with 2 Travel Anywhere

Monday, June 20, 2016

Planning your honeymoon on top of planning your wedding can be a daunting task of sorts. However, 2 Travel Anywhere can help you in this task and plan your honeymoon for you! And for the summer bride, Carlie from 2 Travel Anywhere has some tips for planning your summer getaway. So whether you’ll be participating in tropical excursions or relaxing on the beach all day, Carlie shared some tips for ABG readers on summer honeymoon destinations:

Is there a specific honeymoon destination you would recommend for a summer bride?

Carlie: Really anywhere in the Caribbean and Mexico is perfect in the summer! One of our favorite Caribbean Islands for summer is Jamaica. People are so genuinely friendly and hospitable on the island. The natural beauty of the island is so stunning with the rolling mountains, white sand beaches, lush foliage, streaming rivers and cascading waterfalls. With so much to offer, you can do as much or as little as you want!

2 Travel Anywhere’s top choice is Sandals Resorts. As a Sandals Certified Specialist, we know everything about all the Sandals Resort options!  Sandals Resorts are adults-only and all-inclusive. Their slogan is “A Paradise Created For Two People in Love.” You can enjoy all-inclusive luxury vacations at Sandals' Caribbean resorts and see for yourself why we offer the most romantic getaways with more quality inclusions than any other luxury beach resort. You won’t want to miss the gorgeous white sand beaches, savory dining experiences, opulent accommodations, unlimited refreshing beverages, exciting water sports, and more. There are so many options in Jamaica - it really depends on what you and your husband are interested in doing!  You have the choice of the South Coast, Negril, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. Each location offers something completely different!

Is the weather nicer in certain honeymoon destinations than others?

Carlie: Caribbean tropical getaways always make for nice weather. Sunny weather Negril Jamaica has one of the best sunsets in the world!

What are some fun summer activities to do on your honeymoon?

Carlie: There are unlimited ways to have fun! At 2 Travel Anywhere, we love all-inclusive resorts where you can do everything or do nothing at all. Zip-lining, waterfalls, swimming with dolphins, glass bottom boat tours, snorkeling, scuba diving are all great summer activities. Typically activities outside of the resort cost extra, but everything at the resort is all included. 

As the birthplace of jerk, reggae and Blue Mountain Coffee, Jamaica is a wonderland of allure and stunning, natural beauty. From the scenic cliffs and majestic falls to pristine lagoons and bubbling hot springs, the region boasts plenty of things to do amid a diverse terrain. There are plenty of tours and excursions that satisfy the whims of the most adventurous or the most laid-back traveler. With the vibrant culture and serene countryside, you can experience a day of riding a river raft along the Martha Brae or zip-lining full-speed down a canopy traverse over ancient sugar mill ruins.

What advice can you give couples trying to plan a summer honeymoon?

Carlie: Start planning now. And start a honeymoon registry to help with your budget. Honeymoon registries are becoming a hot trend for couples these days. Why not have money towards your honeymoon rather than your traditional gifts you may already have? Rather than registering for household items they don’t need, couples now seem to do a honeymoon registry.

How can 2 Travel Anywhere help couples with their summer honeymoon?

Carlie: From free help to better prices, with 2 Travel Anywhere it is all about the “2” of you.

Save Time – The Internet is filled with information about travel! It takes a lot of time to sort through everything to find exactly what you are looking for. You are already busy planning a wedding, why not leave the honeymoon planning to someone else!
Stress Free – You can spend those countless hours on the internet searching for the best honeymoon spot and still not find what you want. Contact us and we will send you as many options as you like until you find the perfect option. This saves you from being stressed out about where to start!
Expertise Traveling – We often visit destinations most requested by clients so that we can tell you about destinations and resorts based on our experiences.
Extra Perks – We always contact resorts ahead of time to request honeymoon amenities for you. Our clients frequently get room upgrades upon availability, surprises in their rooms, and much more!
Save Money – We shop around to find you the best rate. We have access to special rates that are often times much lower than elsewhere. And even better, there are NO HIDDEN FEES to work with us.
There are countless benefits for booking with a travel agent. 2 Travel Anywhere, LLC is not your typical travel agency. We actually like to be called a honeymoon consultant - specializing in planning engaged couples’ dream honeymoons around the world. The best part of our services is that we are completely free! We know how stressful it can be planning a wedding so we want to make sure the honeymoon planning is stress-free!


Wow - I can’t tell you how helpful 2 Travel Anywhere can be in planning your honeymoon! Thanks so much to Carlie for sharing about summer getaways! Find more on 2 Travel Anywhere on their website here. Or follow them on Instagram for more honeymoon inspiration.

All photos provided by 2 Travel Anywhere.

Posted by Alyssa | Filed under: Advice & Planning, Honeymoon and Post Wedding, After Your Wedding, 0 comments »

Jenna Henderson Photography Now Offers Framing Services

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

When I found out photographer Jenna Henderson had an announcement to make, I couldn’t wait to find out what it was… Lo and behold, Jenna Henderson is now offering framing services! Now you can order beautiful frames from Jenna after she shoots your wedding.

There is no shortage of framing options with 8 different frame designs that are sure to work in any style home. Need some help with that gallery wall? Well, you’re in luck because Jenna will actually design and install the frames in your home!

To top off all of this amazing news, travel over to Jenna’s blog and check out the deal she’s offering!

All photos by Jenna Henderson from her blog here.

Posted by Alyssa | Filed under: Photography, After Your Wedding, 0 comments »

Houston Station Restaurant Bastion Opens Kitchen Today

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

From the creator of your local restaurant favorites Pinewood Social and The Patterson House comes a new concept - Bastion. Located in the Houston Station Community, Bastion brings a refined eclectic taste to the area's urban vibe. Bastion opened the bar portion of the restaurant a few months back, but today marks the opening of the kitchen.

A dinner at Bastion is unique compared to your usual restaurant experience. Reservations are required in advance for parties with 6 guests max. Several courses are served to your small dinner party rounding out the night with a large cut of meat to share.

You and your groom can decompress after your Houston Station wedding with one of their craft beers or signature cocktails in an intimate one-on-one date. Or give your guests the option to reserve a table of 4-6 for an intimate post-wedding party. 

All photos from Bastion’s website.

Posted by Alyssa | Filed under: Food/Catering, After Your Wedding, 0 comments »

What Is a Post-Wedding Photography Session?  Five Reasons It Could Be Right for You.

Monday, September 9, 2013

I'm sure you've seen "perfect wedding" photos on many blogs and assumed they were taken on a wedding day.  Most of time, when couples look super relaxed, they are either 1) not a real couple but models for a styled wedding photo shoot or 2) not taken on a wedding day but after the couple's wedding day.

How is one to tell?  You aren't!  That's the point.  But, because my goal is to educate you on how all of this works, I want to make sure you know the difference and have realistic expectations.

Let's take the post-wedding photo shoot.  JHenderson Studios recently shared Adam and Beth Ann's post-wedding photo session via her blog.  The photos are picture-perfect. The location is tranquil, and the day is sunny and gorgeous.  They even took a dip in the lake!  Are their wedding photos just as breathtaking?  Yes. They are.  But, a post-wedding session allows the couple and the photographer to control more variables and produce optimal photos.

Don't get me wrong, Jenna of jHenderson Studios always takes great photos BUT she isn't always blessed with perfect weather and ample time to shoot.   In many situations, post-wedding photos save the day.  Post-wedding photos are becoming more popular with brides and grooms.  

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According to Jenna, here are 5 reasons more couples are adding post-wedding sessions:


1) Less Stress

The biggest reason brides take post-wedding photos is that the session allows brides to relax and not worry about the dress.  By now, the dress is dirty.  Instead of worrying about whether the dress will get dirty or damaged during a pre-wedding session, brides can relax and have fun.

The bride and the groom are calmer in generally after the wedding so the session is more fun.  The big day is behind them.  They don't have hundreds of family and friends starring at them.  There is no rush to move along the days or to be married.  All of the wedding day stress is over and it's just the two of you along with the photographer.


2) Better Weather, Lighting

You can't predict the weather a year in advance when you set your wedding date but you have a better idea of weather the week of your post-wedding photos.  If you have a winter wedding, maybe you plan for a spring post-wedding session, where everything is in bloom.  If it rains on your wedding day, you can make sure your post-wedding day is sunny.  

You have more control over weather and even time of day, which affects lighting, with post-wedding sessions.

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3) More Time

Ahh, the wedding day timeline.  You promise your photographer 30 minutes of photo time but someone's late and sometimes things go wrong.  Your photographer does the best she can but there is little time left for those Pinterest-shots you wanted.  

On a post-wedding session there is more control.  You have a set start time that you control and surprises are unlikely.


4) Variety 

Yes you love your wedding venue or you would not have chosen it but maybe it wasn't ideal or maybe you want some variety and want to add a completely different look for your post-wedding.  A post-wedding session will allow you to change your location because you have more time to drive around and get those great shots.

Want to change your veil, hairstyle, makeup or even shoes? A post wedding session offers an opportunity to make changes to your look or location, changes that add variety to your photos.


5) Better Photographer

It happens.  You hired a photographer who simply didn't deliver.  Or, you hired a photographer that you could afford but really wanted a different one.  Now is your chance to upgrade and hire the photographer of your choice, one that is more in your budget for post-wedding session versus a full wedding day.

post wedding photos nashville tn farm outdoor jhenderson studios photography


You can find more details and photos from Adam and Mary Beth's post-wedding photo session via the JHenderson Studios blog.  To discuss your wedding or post-wedding photos, contact Jenna of jHenderson Studios at (931) 703-3016, via website or email.


Posted by Ashley King | Filed under: Advice & Planning, Inspiration & Trends, Photography, Real Nashville Brides, After Your Wedding, 0 comments »